Potiner (Propaganda Pel Fet PGD030 CD, 2004)
The number of mestizo (musical hybrids) bands in Spain keeps growing. Cheb Balowski is an inspired band based in the Barcelona metro area. It includes local musicians as well as North African players. The group’s sound includes powerful rock beats, Balkan influences, French chanson and Spanish Gypsy rumba
combined with North African Gnawa and Rai beats. The instruments used include Flamenco guitars, Moroccan percussion, accordion, palmas (Flamenco handclap percussion) and brass.
The hybrid sound not only applies to the music. Cheb Balowski’s singers draw on four languages used by the residents in the area: Catalan, Spanish and Arabic. The lyrics have strong social content, focusing on the plight of immigrants, globalization, world poverty, and injustice.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.